Since I was laid off more than 6 months ago, the universe has made it clear that I’m no longer employable as a graphic designer. Oh there’s been a few freelancing jobs, but when it comes to landing a full time job, I’ve consistently made it past the initial HR screening interview only to not be contacted be the hiring manager for a second interview. And to be honest, I’m ready for a career change. 

Change can be scary, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s that change will always happen in one way or another. The question is, how will we deal with it? Fight it, ignore it, or embrace it. I’m choosing to embrace it. I actually made this decision back in October when I posted about how I was moving forward after my job loss. Here’s an excerpt:

“Don’t stay stuck in the moment. Keep moving forward. Stay in motion, but make good choices… This is how I’m getting back on track. Back to my old self that believed anything was possible if you just work hard enough. It’s time to go from derailed, to the little engine that can, and will succeed. Whatever form that takes, however long it takes.”

But since October, it’s been a long, sometimes dark road to get to where I am now here in April. But I finally have a path to follow and a goal set to achieve.

Don’t get me wrong. Being a designer was great, but I was starting to find the subjectivity of it to be exhausting. You can show a design to ten different people and get 10 different opinions. And now, trying to come up with new ideas, new designs, new stories is, well…something I’d rather save for this blog!

As far as a career path goes, I’ve decided to switch to healthcare. It’s far less subjective, and far more essential. But where can I go into healthcare with a bachelor’s degree in art? 

As it turns out, there’s quite a few options that only require a two year certificate. My first thought was radiology. But when I talked to the counselor at my local community college, she said the Allied Health classes had wait lists. So instead, I’m going to pursue something more along the lines of nutrition and coaching. Which would mean getting connected with people who met with a doctor, got their condition diagnosed (for example, diabetes), and now I’m going to be the person to walk them through the steps to follow through on the doctor’s orders. It seems like a good fit for me, and it will take less than 2 years to get certified. Then I’ll have a lot of options for where to work once I graduate.

One take away from this whole unfortunate experience for me is that nothing changes for the better if I don’t put myself out there. Hope this post is encouraging to anyone who is thinking about making a similar move. I would say, “Go for it, and if it doesn’t work out, consider it a learning experience and keep going until something does work for you.” It’s hard, but finding the right path is worth it! 😊

Feature photo by Pexels. Illustrations by Deb Evans

2 thoughts on “Can a 50 Year Old Go Back to School?

  1. I think it’s so courageous of you and anyone who decides to start over to do something more fulfilling or will bring you more joy, rather than staying where you’re unhappy or see no future. I honestly commend you for that! I think I’ve said before I’ve toyed around with this idea about going back to school… Still thinking…

    1. Thank you for the comment 😊 I actually tried a career switch back in 2007, but it was too hard with a full-time job and my daughter so young. Now my girl is in college, and I lost my job, which gives me the time I need. I’ve learned that if something is on your heart, it is probably meant to be, it’s just matter of getting the timing right 👍

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